Dell, AMA Partner on Health Care IT Platform

Dell and the American Medical Association are teaming up to create a platform designed to make it easier for physicians and other health care providers to adopt and deploy IT that will make them more efficient and help drive down costs. The platform is being beta tested and will be launched later in 2010.

Dell is working with the American Medical Association to make it easier for medical professionals and organizations to adopt and implement health care IT.

In a partnership announced March 1 at the HIMSS (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) event in Atlanta, Dell and the AMA said they want to make it easier for physicians to adopt such health IT measures as EMRs (electronic medical records), e-prescribing and laboratory services.

The AMA is looking to do this through the creation of a national platform that doctors and other health care professionals will be able to access. The platform is due to launch nationwide later in 2010.

"Physicians are the front line of our health care system, and with the AMA's new platform we can help them be more efficient and better connected," AMA Board Member Steven Stack said in a statement.

The platform will be a source of information on everything from products to services to resources to help doctors adopt health IT. Physicians will be able to get help from the AMA throughout the process, from selecting the products to implementing them to assessing their effectiveness.

The platform is also intended to enable physicians to communicate with each other about technology and patient care.

Dell and the AMA said the platform currently is being beta tested with the Michigan State Medical Society.

"With this platform, we are helping physicians adopt practical technical solutions in order to knock down barriers to the adoption and meaningful use of digital patient info across the health care system," Jamie Coffin, vice president of Dell Healthcare and Life Sciences, said in a statement.

Using IT to save money and improve health care has been a focus of the Obama administration's federal economic stimulus plan. In particularly, federal agencies are interested in encouraging more physicians and health care organizations to adopt EMR technology.

The Obama administration has earmarked $17 billion in stimulus funds for EMR projects, starting in 2011.